THE FAIRY REEL

Study Notes Copyright William Lynch 2007

FORMATION

Sets of three dancers (trios) face each other in pairs.

(X = gent O = lady)

O X O
O X O
O X O
O X O
O X O
O X O
SEQUENCE
1 Advance and retire: gents take their partners' inside hands and the trios advance, retire, advance and take hands to form a circle as they retire the second time. 8 bars
2 Sidestep R and L: with hands still held, all sidestep anti-clockwise (2 bars) and dance in place (2 bars), sidestep back and dance back into line with partners' hands still held (4 bars). 8 bars
3 Advance and retire twice, forming a circle as they retire the second time. 8 bars
4 Sidestep L and R: : with hands still held, all sidestep clockwise (2 bars) and dance in place (2 bars), sidestep back (2 bars) and gents and their R hand partner turn to face each other while the other lady dances in place (2 bars). 8 bars
5 Slip sides: the facing partners take R hands and sidestep towards the other trio's position while the solo lady sidesteps to her R (2 bars), all dance in place (2 bars), sidestep back (2 bars) and the gent and his L hand partner turn to face each other as his R hand partner turns into place (2 bars) 8 bars
The movement is repeated with this lady, the solo lady sidestepping to her L and back, and all three turning into line on the last 2 bars. 8 bars
6 Link elbows: the gents dance in, link R elbows and dance around (4 bars), turn to link L elbows and dance back to face their R hand partner (4 bars). 8 bars
7 Turn the ladies: taking R hand in R, gents half turn around this lady, drop hands and dance on to their L hand partner, turn her L hand and dance back to turn their R hand partner R hand and dance back to place. 8 bars
8 Squares and diamonds: all four ladies sidestep a square, R hand partners moving to their L and L hand partners to their R (RULE: move L in front of, and R behind, the other dancer). At the same time, both gents sidestep a diamond, each moving to his R, the first move being onto a point midway between the outer ends of the two trios and the second move into the place opposite his own. These two moves are repeated around to place.
To dance these movements all dance sevens along the side of their respective shape, dance 1x3 in place and 1x3 to quarter turn inward along the next side. 8 bars
9 Arches: partners take hands and the gent and RH lady form an arch through which the LH lady dances as the gent follows her through (2 bars). The gent and LH lady make an arch for the RH lady who dances through, followed by the gent (2 bars). Both movements are then repeated with the dancers finishing back in place (4 bars) (see ENDNOTE). 8 bars
10 Advance, retire and pass through: with hands still held, trios advance and retire, drop hands and pass through the facing trio, R to R to meet the next trio. 8 bars
The full sequence is repeated with this and each new trio in turn.
ENDNOTE
The published source requires only three, not four, arches and devotes the last two bars to reforming the line. I have never known it danced that way, but it must be much easier to accomplish.
PUBLISHED SOURCE
"Ár Rinncidhe Foirne Thirty Popular Figure Dances Leabhar 1, 2, 3" page 47

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